Mon, 10 September 2012
The second annual Northampton Jazz Festival will be presented on Saturday, September 15 from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. in downtown Northampton, Massachusetts. Building on the success of the inaugural event, the NJF will feature two stages on Hampton Ave (behind Thorne’s Market) and a space in the Market.
Known as the "Paradise City", Northampton, MA offers a lifestyle rich in cultural, artistic, academic, and business resources. It's downtown center, where the festival takes place, is one of the most vibrant in New England. The superb quality of life in Northampton contributes to a strong and diversified economic base. Northampton is unique in the number of independently owned businesses that make up its business community.
The Festival presents internationally known musicians, as well as established local performers and promising young players from area Colleges and High Schools. Attendees can also watch the “12 Mile Meal Challenge,” and root for their favorite local chefs as they compete to see who can create the most innovative cuisine, using food grown by local farmers. As with last year, attendees can enjoy food, beer and wine from local restaurants that make Northampton a favorite among “foodies” everywhere.
“The Jazz Festival is the perfect event to showcase both Downtown Northampton and really great jazz music,” said Bill Collins, vice president of the Northampton Jazz Festival. “The mixture of top pros and student players was fantastic last year and we expect even more excitement from this year’s lineup.”
The main stage - there will be three stages this year - will be highlighted by appearances from Matt Wilson's Arts & Crafts; the Gary Smulyan Quartet; and the Sheryl Bailey 3. To listen to a podcast with Gary Smulyan, click here. Local favorte Flava Evolution opens the main stage at 11:00 am, followed by singer Jessica Freeman.
The Fest will run from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. and is free of charge. The event is sponsored, in part, by TD Bank, The Spoleto Group, Peak Organic Brewing, the Northampton Business Improvement District, BayState Health, WRSI and other local businesses.
Category:general -- posted at: 1:55pm EDT
Mon, 10 September 2012
Some people know how to throw a birthday bash.
Noted saxophonist/poet/painter/all-around good guy Oliver Lake will celebrate his 70th birthday this week with a series of shows in New York. The winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1993, Lake has executed commissions for the Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra and the Brooklyn Philharmonic; arranged for Björk, Lou Reed and A Tribe Called Quest; collaborated with poets, choreographers, and international musicians; led his own Steel Quartet and Big Band, and worked with cooperative ensembles the World Saxophone Quartet and Trio 3.
Three entirely different and equally exciting bands, all led by Mr. Lake will perform at The Jazz Standard from September 13-16. The Oliver Lake Organ Quartet (Oliver Lake – alto sax; Jared Gold – organ; Freddie Hendrix – trumpet; and Chris Beck – drums) kicks things off, followed by the return of the 17 piece Oliver Lake Big Band. That ensemble features Lake, Beck and Hendrix, along with artists like Darius Jones on sax; Yoichi Uzeki on piano and Robert Sabin on bass. The Trio3 (Oliver Lake – alto sax; Reggie Workman – bass; and Andrew Cyrille – drums) will play for two nights, with special guest Geri Allen on piano.
I spoke with Lake as he rested up for these and other September dates. He had just come off the road from Europe with the World Saxophone Quartet, and looked forward to heading to Japan with the band shortly thereafter. At least two new Lake CDs are in the can, and should be released shortly, including a new Big Band CD. Out conversation centered on how he keeps his creative spark alive, particularly as he approaches this milestone birthday. Click here to listen to Podcast 2197, including that conversation and musical selections, including:
Oliver Lake Organ Quartet – “Backup” from Plan. Awarded 4 ½ stars by Downbeat in 2011, the album features some of the best young talented musicians in the New York area: organist Jared Gold; Trumpeter Freddie Hendrix; and the highly creative drummer, Johnathan Blake.
Oliver Lake Big Band – “Boucin’ Back (Bumpin’ Me Against the Wall)” from Cloth. Lake’s youngest son is a DJ who keeps his father supplied with the latest in hip-hop music. As a result, he has created jazz works from rap songs in the past, such as this one originally performed by Mystikal.
Trio3 – “Crooked Blues” from Encounter. The solid trio of Lake, Andrew Cyrille (drums) and veteran bassist Reggie Workman recorded this CD in 2001, and they are still going strong. Workman, you may recall, was on hand for John Coltrane’s legendary Live at the Village Vanguard sessions, and is currently a professor at the New School. In New York City
World Saxophone Quartet – “Hey Joe“from Experience. David Murray’s liner notes talk about Hendrix as being a jazz player at heart. I’m not quite sure of that, but here’s a famous blues recorded by Hendrix on his first album, done WDQ style. The four sax players are Lake, Murray, Hamiet Bluiett, and John Purcell, backed by Craig Harris on trombone, the late Billy Bang on violin, Matthew Garrison on bass and Gene Lake on drums.
Oliver Lake – “Owshet” from Heavy Spirits. Here’s a small group session from 1975, produced for Arista by Michael Cuscuna. The band is Lake (alto sax), Olu Dara (trumpet), Stafford James (bass), Donald Smith (piano) and Victor Lewis (drums).
Direct download: Podcast_297_-_A_Conversation_with_Oliver_Lake_on_his_70th_Birthday.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:00am EDT